|Uncertain Residence - Stallion Springs, California|
There is some place that I think is abandoned, but then I find out that it's not. This has happened to me more than once.
One example is the home in the photograph above. I passed by this place hundreds of times and never saw any human activity--not even a car. The place looked deserted. Then one day the owner showed up. Turns out this is his second home and he's not around all that often. The house is not abandoned, it's just not occupied all of the time.
More commonly I find a place that looks abandoned on Google Earth, but when I show up it is obvious that someone still lives there. From a distance it looks abandoned, but upon closer inspection I find that it is not.
There's an industrial building near Mojave, California that I was certain was abandoned. From Google Earth and from driving by it seemed to be long closed. Then when I showed up to explore and photograph it there were about 40 cars in the parking lot and it was bustling with activity. I kept driving past.
I'm still waiting for the day that I begin exploring a place only to find out it isn't abandoned. This hasn't happened to me yet, and maybe it never will. But sometimes a place looks and seems abandoned, but it is simply neglected. I imagine that this would be an awkward experience.
To help prevent this I try to scope out a location before I enter. I want to be as certain as possible that the place is indeed abandoned. I look for any signs of recent activity. If I'm not 100% sure, I don't take a chance. I'll keep monitoring it until I'm convinced one way or another.